VML, Acquia Accelerate Fan Engagement with Sports Digital Experience Platform [March 12, 2015]

Companies Collaborate on Digital Engagement Platform for League and Team Brands

BURLINGTON, MA – March 12, 2015 – Acquia, the digital experience company, today announced a sports partnership with WPP agency VML. Together the companies are developing a solution to help the world’s most popular sports brands accelerate the delivery of engaging digital experiences. Specifically, VML will create an application on the Acquia Platform for the rapid delivery of sports sites.

As sports organizations and their sponsors identify opportunities to grow their respective brands, they’re looking to deliver immersive experiences and connect with an increasingly global fan base. These brands require agility to build world-class digital destinations to better connect fans, wherever they are and with whatever apps they use. The challenge is to reimagine the fan experience and create a branded experience that brings together news and stats, streaming media, exclusive photos and video, fantasy sports, and a shop that offers branded gear, tickets, travel excursions, and more.

VML and Acquia are bundling these specific requirements into a branded Drupal distribution that will include an integration with a media asset manager, tools to automate content import, social sign-on, sharing & publishing, analytics, and an SEO-friendly architecture. Distributions bring together functional modules, themes, and design elements that accelerate site development for a specific use-case. Sites built on the platform will be fully responsive, allowing clients to reach fans on any device and with targeted, personalized experiences.

Drupal is widely adopted among sports organizations looking to think ahead. Visit Drupal.com to learn more.

“We’re very excited about expanding our partnership with Acquia. We’re helping our clients make powerful, personal connections with fans, generating deep insight into their preferences and connecting with their interests,” said Brian Yamada, chief innovation officer at VML. “By harnessing the strengths of VML and Acquia, we’re creating an open, agile framework to accelerate the development of amazing fan experiences that build both loyalty and brand value.”

VML has a long history of partnering with sports rights holders to create digital strategies that can be effectively monetized. This is further enhanced by VML’s growing consumer entertainment, sports and promotions practice, which helps ensure partners get the most value from their endorsements, sponsorships, and promotions. Together VML and Acquia are working with a global sports entertainment brand to create immersive digital fan experiences for its franchises. Working closely with GroupM, the media arm of WPP, the company also helps sports organizations to roll these plans out with targeted campaigns based on personas developed during research.

The Acquia Platform’s digital engagement services connect with an organization’s existing business intelligence and analytics tools. Brands build a richer, unified profile of their customers with the platform for improved behavioral targeting, testing and content recommendations. Audiences may be segmented in real-time and presented with personalized offers across all touchpoints -- ultimately increasing value for rights holders. The platform’s extensibility and open APIs readily connect with legacy and preferred technology investments, and also allow for the flexibility to alter components when necessary to meet changing priorities.

“Leagues and teams are under constant pressure to be creative and discover new ways to bring the action to fans. Always-on, omnichannel fan experiences are driving better brand engagement and more point-of-purchase opportunities,” said Tom Wentworth, Acquia CMO. “VML and Acquia are bringing a solution that offers increased integration across the digital landscape for rich media, real-time content, and direct interaction with fans, athletes and the community. It’s helping teams and leagues capture the fan’s attention and create deeper, more meaningful engagement than ever before.”

About VML
VML is a global marketing agency that delivers forward-thinking ideas and solutions for the world’s most influential brands, including: MillerCoors brands Coors and Coors Light, Charter Communications, Colgate-Palmolive, COBRA PUMA GOLF, Dell, Gatorade, the Kellogg Company, Kimberly-Clark, Krispy Kreme, Microsoft, NAPA AUTO PARTS, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, U.S. Soccer, Tennessee Tourism, Wendy’s and Xerox.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., VML joined the world’s largest communications services group WPP in 2001. VML has more than 2,200 employees with principal offices in 24 locations across six continents.

About Acquia
Acquia is the digital experience company. Empire Life, Warner Music Group and Stanford University are among the more than 4,000 organizations that are transforming their digital businesses with Acquia’s open cloud platform. Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies and NGOs rely on Acquia to create new revenue streams, lower costs, and engage audiences more deeply through content, community, commerce and context.

For more information visit www.acquia.com or call +1 781 238 8600.

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